|Embrace the Warmaster! He's not kidding around...|
This past Thanksgiving (October here in Canada), we played our long-aspired-to 30k mega-game pitting two Titans, many tanks and thousands and thousands of points worth of troops in a massive confrontation on the table (check it out here
). The game was just awesome, and you might think I would have come away from that experience pleased to have the game complete, and ready to drift to another project. That does sound plausible, but my brain is broken, and I'm going the opposite way - as in, "hey, we would have captured that position if only we had more
|Quad lascannon sponsons on each side|
|Demolisher cannon and twin-linked heavy bolter on the front. Can you feel the hope?|
|Completely non-carbon neutral engine...|
And so, as Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge approaches, I'm getting ready for some major escalation on the 30k side of things...up first in this post, a major addition to the ranks of the Warmaster's armoury - something I was so keen to paint I didn't even wait for the Challenge to start. This is a Fellblade super-heavy tank in the fine green tones and spooky iconography of the XVIth Legion - the Sons of Horus, the Warmaster's very own.
|Fellblade crew popped out to enjoy the fun - although the gunner on the front right is wisely keeping a lower profile...|
In the 40k fluff, "super-heavy" tanks are generally items of the Imperial Guard lineup (or the
-screw the stupid "new" names). The Imperial Guard infantry might be expendable, but backed up with tanks they are tough. And backed up with "super-heavy" tanks, like Baneblades, Stormblades and other horrors, they are even tougher.
|The tank commander sports a pistol...for repelling boarders, I guess? Or maybe he's just really, really into guns...he must be, if he's driving this thing around all day at work...|
|Another view of the turret - was like painting a naval turret...|
The Space Marine Chapters? Well, they are tough because of the Marines themselves (at least, they are in the story - seldom works that way on the 40k gaming tables, but I digress). Of course they have Land Raiders, Thunderhawks and other heavy kit, but limited to 1,000 warriors, the 40k Space Marine Chapters leave the super-heavy tanks, and the protracted conflicts and mass confrontations use of those platforms implies, to the Guardsmen.
|Side-by-side photo with an Imperial Guard Baneblade - the Fellblade is a big piece of kit...|
Switch back to 30k, however, and the Space Marine Legion is meant to be an entirely different matter from the Chapter...the Legions are the instruments of the Emperor's Great Crusade - each Legion tens of thousands, in many cases over 100,000 - strong, with all the kit needed to travel around the galaxy and bring lost civilizations into "compliance", or wipe threatening xenos from existence, or both. The team at Forge World have done a really masterful job of establishing this different sense of setting with their 30k stuff, blending much homage to the original Heresy story and the old Space Marine/Epic setting with new items to dazzle dorks like me. One big part of that is the presence of "super-heavy" tanks in the Space Marine Legion, as part of the Legion's own organic armoured capabilities - not just Marine versions of the Baneblade (you can do that too if you like), but Marine-only "super-heavy" tanks.
|Size comparison with some XVIth Legion Marines...judging by the presence of that quad lascannon, they are not standing in a very safe place...I know Horus is a tough boss, but remember SAFE work fellas!|
In the current 30k fluff the Fellblade is described as a more advanced design variant based off of the Baneblade chassis. Heavily armed (to put it mildly), heavily armoured, it fits, at least for me, exactly in my imagination of a Space Marine Legion. Small war? OK, but if you insist on giving us problems, we'll land 10,000 Legion Marines and a company of these things soon you will be blasted to particles...we totally would have swept those pesky loyalists away if we had one of these in October...
|The Fellblade before priming...Steve has done an incredible job getting this beast assembled for me - my sole contribution was gluing on the brass Horus icons|
I just love how this thing looks. The cut of the chassis, the round turret, the kookoo twin barreled main cannon...just bananas...fits perfectly with the Sons of Horus, and with the 30k setting in general.
|Primed black (again, thanks to Steve), and with the first dry-brush of gray applied, I'm getting down to work...|
This model is not an easy model to assemble. In fact, I plain could not do it. At all. It was beyond my skill. Fellow conscripts are familiar with my tendency to snap my crayons, and I'm not a patient builder of even small model kits. I went into this expecting trouble, but even still I was surprised, and I just could not get it put together properly. I was not ranting or anything (my usual approach), but was instead working on a fall-black plan to build it instead as a knocked-out tank (which would be a neat piece of terrain). It was a little embarrassing, but at the end of the day, my skills are what they are, and a knocked out tank this size would be awesome terrain to fight over.
|Some basic colours in place...no airbrush here, just boring old brushes, GW paints and some NHL hockey in the background on TV|
|Basic greens in place, a wash of Biel-Tan green done, ready for next steps...|
|Crew figures with basic coats of paint, awaiting washes etc.|
Enter Byron, who urged me to stay my hand, and suggested I connect with Steve B, a local gamer and avid hobbyist here in Winnipeg. Steve is the kind of smart, reasonable hobby guy with a brain for assembling these tricky models, and the tools to back up the smarts and skills. I should note here that his skills with the brush (and airbrush) match his building skills as well. Steve took up the challenge, managing to disassemble the chunks I had already put together, and get the thing built properly. He even magnetized the sponsons for me! I am totally thrilled with the results, and a huge thank you is due to Steve B - great work
So instead of terrain, there would be a tank to paint after all...
|View from the top|
Steve left the hatches off for me so I could add the two crew in the turret. I like how the vehicle commander is carrying a bolt pistol - seriously, the accelerator cannon, the demolisher cannon, the two quad lascannons and the twin heavy bolter were not enough? What is he going to shoot with that pistol? It's so 30k/40k - I quite like the silliness of it.
|"Horus for Hope!"|
I used some the Forge World brass Sons of Horus icons on the vehicle, and I am very happy with how it turned out. While decals might have done the job, for something like this, the brass is a lot better - and the Sons of Horus decals do, for whatever reason, silver up like crazy, no matter what hobby tricks you use, so it was nice not to worry about that.
|The Fellblade joins fellow members of the XVIth Legion in my basement armoury, awaiting further 30k mayhem on the Fawcett Avenue Conscripts gaming tables...|
The paint job is pretty basic - no fancy airbrush stuff for me. It's kinda boring, but I'm pleased with how it turned out. I can't wait to get this thing out for a spin, so it can run over some Loyalists dupes on the table and blast their faith in the so-called "Emperor" to ruins...while we won't have a mega game anytime soon, it will have to be a large, or at least carefully scripted game, as this thing is 525 points (without "upgrades") and has like 12 hull points, so you don't really just drop it on to the table for a quick pick-up game.
A big thank you again to Byron and Steve. I could not get this model built, and while it was fun to paint, none of that happened without Steve's work getting it built properly. Hopefully he could join a 30k game on our table sometime and take command of this beast as it renders silly Loyalists back into their component atoms. Thanks again! Up next, the Painting Challenge looms - more reinforcements for the XVIth Legion, as well as some...Loyalists??? Stay tuned...